Space Operas, Vampires and Living Forever.
I first came across the term, space opera, a few years ago when I saw a publisher’s submission call. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and here’s what it says:
Space opera is a subgenre of speculative fiction that emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in outer space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing advanced technologies and abilities…. Perhaps the most significant trait of space opera is that settings, characters, battles, powers, and themes tend to be very large-scale.
Well known TV examples are Star Trek, Battlestar Gallactica, and my all time favorite, Firefly. And I realized that I’ve actually been a huge fan of space operas for most of my life.
My novella, BREAK OUT, book 1 in the Blood Hunter series, is primarily a space opera. It has romance, adventure, it’s set in outer space, and it involves opponents with advanced abilities. But it also has something not included in the Wikipedia definition—vampires.
My hero, Ricardo Sanchez is a vampire. Rico has been around for a long time. He was born in the Middle Ages on Earth and he’s seen a lot of changes. Like me, he’s also a big Star Wars fan, which is probably why he’s ended up as the pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador. He sees himself as a sort of Han Solo with fangs—he’s living a dream.
As a vampire, Rico is immortal and that’s one of the reasons I was happy to include him in my space opera. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of immortality—what people would do to gain it, what price would they pay, how they would cope if they did somehow find a way to live forever—and this is the main theme running through the Blood Hunter series.
Break Out is set in a future where man has fled to the stars. There they have discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, it’s exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few, and a new ruling class has evolved—the Collective. Everyone in the universe dreams of getting enough credits together to pay for the Meridian treatment and join the Collective. Everyone that is, except Rico, who is already immortal.
Everything has a price. The price Rico paid for immortality is that he lives with a darkness within him. A darkness that craves blood and death. He’s accepted it and has a code, which he tries to live by, and most of the time he succeeds. He’s also found that plenty of sex helps keep the darkness at bay, and that’s really not a problem for Rico, because he likes sex. But there’s also another price—Rico has never allowed himself to love, because mortals have a bad habit of dying and leaving him. And then he meets Skylar…
In the later books, I’ll explore further the price of immortality. Because the Collective are going to find the price is higher than they thought. And some of them are going to decide it’s too high.
So what do you think—would you like to live forever?
Rico pressed his comm unit. “Tannis?”
“What?” Her tone was grumpy, and he suspected what he was about to say wouldn’t cheer her up any.
“If you’re not already strapped into anything right now, you might want to consider it.”
He closed off the connection and settled back in his seat, locking his safety harness in place. Everyone was still standing. Was no one capable of taking orders anymore?
Rico gave them ten seconds to comply, then hit the new coordinates. The Cazador slowed, shuddered, but before the ship had time to come to a complete stop, he hit the boosters and sent her into overdrive. The engines shrieked as she spun and shot off in the opposite direction, the force of her speed pushing him back into his chair.
Behind him, someone crashed to the floor. They really should have listened.
It was only seconds before he saw the speck of the space cruiser on the screen. They were hurtling toward it, but he didn’t slow down. They had to do this quickly, before the other ship realized what was happening.
The ship grew bigger, definitely the same one from the attack the other day. If attack was the right word. He locked on the lasers and fired. The Cazador wasn’t powerful enough to do any real damage, but he was betting he could still wind them up.
Now was the moment they should retaliate. But he didn’t think they would. Of course, if he was wrong they would all be space dust in about two seconds, and while he liked to think he was never wrong, there was always a first time.
The other ship wouldn’t even have to shoot. They could just keep going, slam into them and El Cazador would be smashed into tiny little pieces. The bigger ship probably wouldn’t sustain more than a scratch.
He held his breath, fighting the urge change course as the image of the space cruiser filled the screen.
Mierda. He was wrong. They were going to crash.
At the last minute, the cruiser veered. The power of her back-thrust washed over El Cazador, rolling her, and for a minute, he hung upside down from the harness. He ignored the crash and subsequent yelp as someone collided with the ceiling.
When the ship righted itself, the screen was empty. Rico released his breath and assessed the place for damage. A few red buttons blinked on the console, but nothing too drastic.
Skylar was picking herself up off the floor. He should have guessed she’d be the one to disobey orders. She winced and rubbed a spot on her hip, but otherwise she appeared okay. Perhaps he would offer to kiss her bruises better… later.
Skylar is on first solo mission as an elite intelligence officer. Disconnected
Combine space ships with vampires, pirates, and romance, and you get
A must read for science fiction romance fans.
Space Vampires? Yes please.,
When I first saw Nina Croft's Break Out all I could think was vampires in space?
Really? But it's Nina Croft and she's a master so you have to give it a try just
to see where her imagination will take you.
This story could have become trite and stereotypical at any point with a
lesser author but Nina Croft is a master of the craft, making the ability for
her readers to suspend belief effortless. Skylar is a mind blowing heroine,
both vulnerable and strong while Rico makes you wonder if it's possible
for a Kindle to actually melt in your hands. But when you put them together?
Let's just say a nun would need a cold shower with the sparks these two give off.
If you're looking for a vampire novel with a bite then this little gem
should definitely be on your to-read list.